Pirates paddle past Highline in 2005 opener
Highline swept host Evergreen in all the swim races, but both schools found reasons for the opening dual meet to be happy about. Winning this meet and times were not even on the agenda in Thursday's meet at the Evergreen Pool in White Center.
Captains for Highline, Janine Reynolds and Mica Bailey, were frank about what was important for this team this season in terms of goals. Getting to state individually and as a team was barely on the list.
"Just we want everyone to have personal bests, just support everyone," said Bailey, with Reynolds nodding her head. Both are seniors.
Julie Hubbs is the captain for Evergreen and she might as well have been the captain for Highline. She sounded like an echo of Reynolds and Bailey.
"I want everyone to have fun," said Hubbs of the team's season goals. "I want to be respected and always be an inspiration to everyone."
Andrea Aronson might have the top potential for the Wolverines, saying, "I want to go to state in the 50 free, I'm a second and a half off the 50 free state qualifying time."
"This is our state girl," said Hubbs. "She dedicates a lot of time."
Aronson also thinks Hubbs liked what she heard when she volunteered words that spoke of one thing she did to get things going well in her team captain role.
"I got the girls our swim suits by the first meet," said Hubbs.
Aronson's arms went in the air at that.
Aronson then said, "It's a lot of fun. The girls are a lot of fun to swim with."
"They make sure everyone on the team feels needed," said the only other senior on the team, Jordan O'Brien. "They really help everyone on the team feel needed and supported."
Beth Cate is only a freshman but she won her 500 freestyle 20-lap longest race of the meet. And she won the 200 Individual Medley event and she already has state times almost.
"She won the 500 in 5:34 and the state qualifying time cut-off is 5:28 and she won the 200 IM in 2:20 and state cut-off is 2:18," said Pirates head girls swim coach Robin Hoof.
"They have parties and stuff and do a good job leading that effort," said Cate.
Bailey, on that subject of role for herself and Reynolds, said, "We buy team gifts, we do things like pick out the swim suits for the team, help organize team activities and raising money."
Hoof has been coaching a long time with the Pirates.
"She does a good job, and keeps it fun for all of us," said Bailey.
Evergreen coach Steve Miguelez does the same as Hoof does for the Pirates.
"He is always supportive of us," said Hubbs. "He encourages you whether you are fast or slow. He is very supportive of the captains and gives us duties. He is not controllling so much that he doesn't let the captains have a say in how things are being done. He lets us interact with the other swimmers, to try and teach them things."
This year the Pirates have more swimmers out, that is a positive, a negative might be the youth.
"We have more freshman than I have ever seen," Reynolds commented.
"We had 35, 36 last year and this year we have 44 out," said Hoof.
"We had 20-25 out last year, this year we only have 15, but we have a lot of team spirit," said Hubbs. "We lost a couple swimmers that graduated from our relays. Even though they are gone, we are a still a team very united. And we have the same amazing coach as last year."
"It' a great team that has a lot of spirit," said Miguelez. "It is not a tradition for us to have a lot of club swimmers. Literally, half the team about, is beginning swimming. We are not going to challenge the Highline's , Kennedy's , Mount Rainier's, but they work hard and have a good work ethic."
"A swimmer for us, Lina West, just swam the 100 breaststroke, the event before she then went and did the 400 free right afterward and she did the best she could," said Miguelez. "They do all try their best when I put them in an event they are not familiar with."
One swimmer for the Wolverines, Marianna Boss, a sophomore, was typical of the unfamiliarity Miguelez spoke of.
"I was getting ready to go on the blocks and I was getting ready to cry," said Boss. "It is my first race ever swimming in high school. I did good, I took first out of the four girls I swam against in the JV race. I was surprised at my time too, I got a 47 in practice yesterday (in the 50 free) and today I went a 39. So I think I did a little better today than yesterday."
The pool is not deep and not set up right. For one thing, no diving took place because of the Wolverine's pool not being a standard depth of at least 10 feet. For another thing, it just was not a long pool for times to speak of.
"This pool is not great for swimming and times and for diving it is too shallow," said Hoof.
Hoof thinks that Highine can maybe improve on its top 16 state finish .
"We might be pretty equal," said Hoof. "We gained in some areas and lost in others."
Cate, Bailey and Reynolds were all mentioned as state qualifying swimmers.
For the Wolverines, Miguelez mentioned Charlene Sims, Kimberly Becker and Jayle Shanebrook as district qualifying swimmers.